Advisory Board

The ACA Advisory Board is a group of corrections professionals chosen for their professionalism and commitment to ACA who provide guidance to ACA on its publications including Corrections Compendium.

Patricia L. Caruso joined the Michigan Department of Corrections in 1988 and has served in several capacities including business manager, warden, regional prison administrator and deputy director. In July 2003, she was appointed director of the department. She retired from that position in 2011. Caruso received a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from Lake Superior State University and a master’s degree in comprehensive occupational education from the University of Michigan. In July 2006, Caruso was elected to ACA’s Commission on Accreditation for Corrections for a term expiring in 2010 and has been a member of ACA’s Standards Committee since July 2003. She is currently serving as ACA’s vice president. Caruso has also served as the treasurer for the Association of State Correctional Administrators. She is past president of the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents (NAAWS).  

Gary L. Dennis, Ph.D., is a senior policy advisor for corrections with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. Prior to this, he worked as a senior associate with the Moss Group Inc., in Washington, D.C. Before that, Dennis was a visiting assistant professor in the University of Louisville School of Justice Administration. During his 30-year career with Kentucky state government, Dennis was director of correctional industries for the Kentucky DOC, deputy commissioner for the DOC, executive assistant to the secretary of corrections, director of operations and an institutional superintendent. He began his career in juvenile corrections, working as a counselor, chaplain and unit director at a reception center for delinquent youths. Dennis also served as director of the Department of Management and Training Services at the National Institute of Corrections’ (NIC) National Academy of Corrections. Dennis has a master’s degree in religious education from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a master’s of social work and doctorate of philosophy in urban and public affairs from the University of Louisville.

Douglas J. Dretke serves as executive director of the Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT) located within the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center at Sam Houston State University (SHSU). Dretke worked for 26 years with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice beginning his career as a correctional officer, and serving in a number of capacities including senior warden for two different facilities before becoming director of the Correctional Institutions (prison) Division of TDCJ. He retired in July 2006 to become director of CMIT. He received a bachelor’s degree from SHSU in criminology and corrections and his Maste'sr of Public Administration with a criminal justice concentration from Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Dretke is an active member of ACA having served on the Conference Planning Committee, Professional Certification Commission, Professional Education Council, and Delegate Assembly.

Calvin R. Edwards, DPA, is professor and department chair of Justice, Law and Public Safety Studies at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill. He has worked in corrections since 1974 when he began his career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) as a case manager at the U.S. Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kan. He served in numerous roles in the BOP, including warden, regional director, and assistant director. He later served as executive deputy director and interim director of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections. He has been teaching in higher education for several years. Edwards received a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Elmhurst College in Illinois, a Master's of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, a Master's of Public Administration, and a Doctor of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He has served on the ACA Professional Education Council, the Human Resources/Workforce Issues Committee and the Work Force Advisory Council. Edwards currently serves as a member of the Delegate Assembly and wishes to continue to use his experience in corrections and academia to contribute to program and policy development for ACA as a member of the Delegate Assembly. 

Christopher A. Innes, Ph.D., is chief of the Research and Evaluation Division of the National Institute of Corrections. Since 1985, he has served in a variety of research positions within the Department of Justice, including at the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in the Office of Research and Evaluation at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and at the National Institute of Justice. Before joining the department, he helped establish the Criminal Justice Data Archive at the University of Michigan and managed it for its first seven years. Innes’s past research has focused primarily on jails and prisons, violence and inmate misconduct in correctional institutions, and evaluations of inmate programs. His more recent work at NIC has focused on organizational culture and development in corrections systems, criminal justice policy and the use of research to inform correctional decision making and practices. Innes is the author of a number of published research articles and is a frequent presenter on a variety of criminal justice topics. He previously served as chair of ACA’s Research Council.  

Perry Johnson’s career spans 45 years, 12 of which he served as director of the Michigan DOC. He also is a past president of ACA. He has served as a prison warden, deputy director of correctional facilities, and deputy director of field services. He was an adjunct professor at Michigan State University’s School of Criminal Justice for 14 years and has provided consulting services to more than 20 states and three countries. Johnson is retired and writing family memoirs.

John J. Larivee is chief executive officer of Community Resources for Justice, a 123-year-old nonprofit corporation located in Boston, which provides direct care services to adult and juvenile offenders, as well as public education and advocacy on critical issues in corrections. Larivee is past president of the International Community Corrections Association (ICCA), and a founder and director of Citizens for Juvenile Justice. He is a member of the President’s Parents Advisory Council on Youth Drug Abuse. He graduated from Boston College and received a master’s in criminal justice from the State University of New York at Albany and a master’s in business administration from Suffolk University in Boston.

James C. Welch, RN, HNB-BC, is chief of the Bureau of Correctional Healthcare Services for the Delaware Department of Correction. Welch is responsible for the day-to-day operation of all physical, mental health and substance abuse programs provided in all correctional institutional settings. Delaware has a unified corrections system. This system includes those who are petitioners, pre-trial and sentenced offenders. This bureau consists of 11 positions including medical director, nurse, compliance coordinator, mental health and substance abuse administrators, social services administrator, and quality assurance staff. Welch has been instrumental in navigating the Department of Justice Memorandum of Agreement since December 2005. The state of Delaware negotiated a modified agreement in December of 2009. Welch has overseen the establishment of criteria for assuring that all issues identified by the MOA are addressed and the quality of care to the offender population is improved. He was the former AIDS coordinator for the Delaware Division of Public Health. During his 20 year tenure, Welch created the prevention and care clinic system in the state. His duties also included STDs and hepatitis services. Welch is a registered nurse with a specialty certification in holistic nursing.